The Narcissist´s Reality Gap
The Lesser Narcissist. Whether it is the out and out loser that is the Lower Lesser, the usually useless Middle Lesser or the successful but overbearing bully that is the Upper Lesser, the three have certain common traits. One of these traits is their delusional state. The Lesser exists in a bubble convinced of his or her good looks or innate strength or irresistible sexiness. They think everybody likes them, they think if you don’t then you must be an idiot and you are not worth bothering with. They believe themselves to be great at sport, or writing, or whatever hobby and if they do not win or receive an accolade well the game was fixed, the paint was the wrong sort or the judges are retarded. After all, anybody who cannot see that the Lesser is a swaggering champion, well, they must need their head seeing to, right?
The Lesser cruises through life doing what he or she wants, taking whatever they want, behaving as they please and nobody is allowed to stop or interfere with this god-given right. They are completely oblivious to their shortcomings – that bloated beer belly just shows a certain joie de vivre, going bald is a sign of virility, wearing that same jacket is a mark of classic attire. Their narcissism enables them to maintain their perceived superiority (where often none exists) through the application of this delusion. They just do not see their failings, their inadequacies and failures. The self-defence mechanism of the Twin Lines of Defence will either deny any such failing or deflect it away by ascribing it to being the fault of someone or something else. Thus, the Lesser escapes culpability, maintains superiority, gathers fuel and barrels through his or her life wreaking havoc all around and never suffering consequences.
Now, the fuel crisis will cause the bubble to burst, but this article is not about the effect of the fuel crisis but rather the reality gap. When fuelled, the Lesser suffers no reality gap whatsoever. He or she is oblivious and served totally by the delusions of their narcissistic perspective because that is what enables them to exist and function.
What then of the Greater? There is no doubting that the Greater can point to substance to support those bold pronouncements. Look at the money, the high status career, the successful public life, the adoring crowds, the power that is wielded, the records made, the books sold, the art created, the countries invaded, the factories opened, the gadgets invented and the elections won. From captain of industry, Olympic champion, pop star, politician, royal, leader, spin doctor, fixer, striving executive, acclaimed actor, feted artists through to hundreds of other positions and roles, the Greater populates the higher echelons of achievement. His or her narcissism has enabled such an ascent. With no sense of remorse, no conscience, the desire to be the best, a total belief in one’s ability, a sense of entitlement and operating with absolute expediency it is little wonder that the Greater narcissists clamber into these positions.
Is there delusion with the Greater? Indeed and it manifests in the form of embellishment and exaggeration because the innate paranoia of the narcissist means that it is never enough. He may be popular but he sees that he is immensely popular because the narcissism demands it. The narcissism enabled him to scale the heights of political power to begin with and then feeds the need to stay there and want more and more and more because non sufficit orbit terrarum.
Thus the Greater will have considerable power but sees its reach as being even further. He has wealth but embellishes its degree. The narcissistic perspective insists on there being a reality greater than there is. It is even better than the real thing. The combination of that which has been achieved and the belief in added achievement results in the application of power on a tremendous scale, which in turns feeds the narcissism. Round and round it goes. There may be a reality gap, but similar to the Lesser, it is not apparent to the Greater save when the effects of a fuel crisis manifest.
What of the Mid-Range Narcissist? He or she can also achieve. Not on the scale of the Greater but beyond the Lesser. The Mid Range Narcissist, particular Middle Mid Range and Upper Mid Range will secure success, good jobs, excellent incomes, academic achievements, sporting achievements and so forth. Many friends, well-liked by family and the community (that good old facade at work there) and convinced of their own innate goodness.
However one of the fundamental differences between the Lesser and Greater Narcissists compared to the Mid Ranger is the basis on which the application the reality gap operates. The Lesser’s superiority is based on aggressive provocation, albeit in a rudimentary and base manner. The Greater’s superiority is also based on aggressive provocation but in a far more streamlined, refined and magnificent manner. The Mid-Ranger’s perceived superiority has its foundation placed on passive provocation – the silent treatments, the jealous smearing, the office politicking, the pity plays and so forth.
The consequence of this is that this passive, defensive superiority, as opposed to the driving, thrusting aggressive superiority of the other two schools, results in the Mid Range Narcissist suffering periodic reality gaps. He of course will have them and in a massive way as a consequence of a fuel crisis but as stated above, that is not the subject of this article.
The Mid Range Narcissist is afflicted by episodic instances of a detachment between his narcissistic perspective and reality. This is part of his narcissism because this is what enables him or her to operate in a passive aggressive manner through seeking sympathy, exhibiting jealousy, inviting pity and demanding help and support. The Mid Range Narcissists will occasionally get a glimpse of what he is as opposed to what he wants to be. He suddenly sees he is the middle manager salary man and not on the fast track to the board. Whereas the Lesser sees he is holding a semi-skilled position on the factory floor he either sees that as what is best for him and he wouldn’t want to be a “white collar wanker” or he believes he has never made it to management because the existing managers are cocksuckers who are clueless and have no idea how to run a company. The Greater is either at the board already or on his way. The Mid Range Narcissist once believing he was destined for that executive position suddenly realises he is not. He once believed he brought influence to bear beyond his current status because he was talented and just ripe for promotion, he is suddenly aware that this is not the case. The football career was not as glittering as he wanted it to be. She is not as popular as she wants to be. She isn’t able to win the races as she desires to.
The shortfall between what the Mid Range wants to be and believes him or herself to be and what they actually are manifests and delivers a crushing blow to the Mid Range. It is caused by wounding, but to the Mid Range Narcissist it appears to come out of nowhere, a sudden fountain of mediocrity which surges up unexpected and unwelcome. This awful reminder acts as a threat to the narcissist´s control. The Mid Range Narcissist immediately seeks to escape this reality gap by complaining, raging, sulking or smearing, thus asserting control over others, to draw fuel and banish this sudden reminder that they are nowhere near as special as what they believe themselves to be. Their envy of those who are what the Mid Range wants to be is unfettered. Their dejection at their position requires immediate succour from those around them, to flow with pity and sympathy until the moment has passed and with it the danger to their existence. What it does not do however, is enable the Mid Range Narcissist to see that they are a narcissist, that can never happen.
Accordingly, should you ever witness a Mid Range Narcissist exhibiting some kind of panic attack, a wailing and bemoaning of his or her lot in life even though there is no fuel crisis evident, then you have witnessed the appearance of the Mid Range narcissist’s reality gap.
16 thoughts on “The Narcissist´s Reality Gap”
What a brilliant article, HG. I now see how the first ever narcissist/sociopath/psychopath encountered was a lesser. At one point they had become so convinced that their delusional image of themselves was reality, it was disturbing. Or how unaware they were in recalling all the lies that they’ve told, without noticing that there was a trail that blatantly showed their dishonesty. I wonder why they raced to replicate/mirror so many people, it was as if they had to be everyone else as if no one could exist with any traits they wanted but them. Very strange. The second encountered without question was mid-range. The sulking! Quite a few greaters encountered as well. I just lost the battle with clearly a mid-range, who didn’t realize in doing so he handed me victory in the war. I slipped up with emotional thinking, as you would say HG. Funny, I just said the other day that they were likely to leave their post entirely because it wasn’t going to be the big money and supply they hoped for and thought they’d get.
My ex was delusional and believed the lies they would say.Very disturbing.Im one happy camper the ex is out of my life.
My ex knew when he was lying, at least some of the time, when it was to me. He lied to himself though and did believe those. I’m another happy camper!
They believe there own lies and say hurtful things and seem to not remember what they say.Unacceptable.
The unconscious narcissists tend to ‘choose’ what to remember (the Lessers probably would not remember – not bright enough)….. narcissists view from a different perspective compared to empaths….
I really like the you worded the unconscious narcissist
Thank you CC.
Cup Cakes, it was so crazy. At first he talked of his ability to pull the wool over people’s eyes, so to speak. This should’ve been a huge red flag. He’d do it in front of me as a joke and at that point, it was often funny. He’d also always reveal the joke at some point to the person. I was confident he’s never do it to me, I could see through it and he loved me too much. Ha.
As time went on, I watched him do it for real in situations where he needed to get a certain outcome. It made me sick seeing this. By then I knew he’d lie to me also, he already had many times. Now I can only hope that if I see red flags like this going forward I will recognize them and run the other way.
My ex new they were lying through there teeth.
Always looking for attention.So dramatic and when couldnt control the people around thats when they would go ballistic.
Just never new what they wanted.Just so f…king demanding.Who did you talk too and why and are you flirting and all this bowshit.Oh you know I love you cant do without you and all this stupid romeo and juliet lyrics.
I have no anxiety and no stress since they left.
Its a feeling I cant explain.
Cup Cakes, I understand that “no anxiety and no stress since they left”, I had that too, after a while once he left, not right away because I didn’t know if he’d try to come back, but the stress went down in time. It has been amazing.
Laughing…. “white collar wankers” – brilliant…. (not saying I think that people in higher positions are) but the ones I knew at work are 😂 😂…..
Interesting article. It described exactly the behaviour I saw – MRN’s reality gap. It seemed to get worse over time.